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If you are publishing your book for the first time and if you want to publish it in paperback then you can totally do it because it is still one of the most popular mediums of book publication.

But the thing you must keep in mind is that with different types of book publishing comes different formats because paperback formatting is different from eBook formatting.

There are even different types of paperback formats. While we will not tell you how to format paperback books because you need an extensive tutorial on that but we will definitely help you with understanding the paperback book format.

You will help you understand how to set up the print edition of your softcover book. We will also give you tips about important paperback book design decisions.

These will ultimately help you in book publishing and understanding this very popular publishing format.  You will talk about all the different factors that contribute to the format such as paperback size and much more.

So, let us start this very exciting blog with the question of why would you want to publish in paperback.

Why Publish in Paperback?

People have misconceptions about the popularity of paperback books because of the rise of eBooks but there is enough data to suggest that at least 70% of all books read worldwide are paperback books.

This means paperbacks are still in popularity compared to all the other types of books including eBooks and audiobooks.

In fact, paperbacks give a kind of legitimacy to the book because if a book is printed on paper that means the book has to have some quality to it.

That is why if you are thinking of self-publishing then you should definitely choose a printed book rather than an eBook.

The reason behind this is that people simply like to hold a book and read it and like the feel of a physical book rather than looking at images on the smartphone or e-reader.

Now that we know how important printed books are we should definitely look at paperback formatting so that you might understand how to assemble your book ready for printing.

But before we do that, we still need to understand what is paperback book formatting.

What Is Paperback Book Formatting?

Paperwork formatting is called simple to understand. It is just how you need to arrange the book before it goes into publishing.

This means you need to follow a certain layout if you want the printed book to come out the way you want.

You can follow pre-determined measurements or you can try out your own measurements but you need to make sure that the book is readable and that it is comprehensible.

One of the best ways to ensure that is to format your paperback and come out with a sample. Creating a sample might feel expensive but it is much cheaper than coming out with the first batch of printed books.

Before we start with the important tips to keep in mind for paperback formatting, we to understand if there is a difference between eBook formatting and paperback formatting.

Is There Any Difference Between eBook and Paperback Formatting?

There are significant differences because you need to understand the purpose and the use case of the layout.

If we consider ebooks then you can fit the text at the centre of the page or to any kind of layout you want to because the entire page can be seen and there is no need for printing considerations.

You can even choose an ebook format where only the data of the text will be taken and it will be arranged according to the ebook platform or format.

You are not going to have that luxury with paperback formatting because you need to always keep printing restrictions in mind.

You cannot have the main body of the text in the centre because a lot of the left edge of the page will be taken up by the spine of the book.

Then there are other considerations such as the size of the page and how much of the text you should fit inside that page which also depends on the size of the book.

Important Tips to Keep in Mind While You Format Your Paperback Book?

Templates Are Always Good

People shy away from templates because they think it is amateur but in reality, you are an amateur and if the final work looks professional then it is professional.

That is why you can get hold of an unlimited number of templates online that will help you simply paste your manuscript. You might probably be using Microsoft Word and you can get a lot of templates for that or any other kind of software you use.

You can then go page by page and do basic editing to make sure you have a completed manuscript. If you do not want to use any regular word processing software then you can use something professional and you are going to have even better controls.

Then all you need is a little bit of attention in the numbering and the widows and orphans. You must also make sure that the numbering is never on the bottom or top left because it might be covered by the spine.

Trim Size Is Very Important

One of the other things that you will need to keep in mind is the trim size because it is a basic essential of book formatting and especially a paperback.

Trim size is basically the size of the book which means the length and width of the book.

There is a precise science to this because if you have a book with a higher word count then you need to pick a size that is big so that the book does not seem too thick.

But if you have a small book then you can get away with a small size. Trim size should not only look good but it should match the philosophy of the readers.

That is why you should choose something that is standard but also matches the kind of book you are writing.

You can choose a custom size but it will produce unnecessary difficulty during the printing process and that is why you can choose between a few standard sizes.

  • 5×8.5 inches
  • 229x152mm (9×6 inches)
  • 279x216mm (11×8.5 inches)

 The Front and The Back of The Book

One of the things to consider when you are formatting your book for paperback is the front and the back of the book.

While it is necessary for eBooks as well but it is much more necessary when it comes to paperback because of the traditions paperbacks follow.

The thing is, you do not start numbering the book from the first page. Page numberings are an entirely different topic that needs an entire blog but we will help you understand it in short.

There are different pages to a book and you might distribute them in sections because one section might contain the copyright as well as the acknowledgements and the contents.

Another section might contain the body of the text.

The last page or the last section might contain credits and much more.

It is usually tradition to not number the pages unless they are the primary body of the text. That is why when you paste your manuscript in the template you need to make sure that they are maintained.

Apart from that you need to keep in mind a few other things such as the headers and also make sure to repeatedly check for errors.

It might seem like a lot of work because it is actually a lot of work. If you are publishing with a traditional publisher your manuscript may even get rejected if the formatting is not correct.

If you are self-publishing and if you do not correct the formatting then most self-publishers will not correct the formatting or bother doing it on their own regard.

But you do not need to worry because we are here to help you. We are Orange Publishers and we are the one and only traditional publishing company with the accessibility and ease of use that comes with self-publishing.

With us, you do not need to worry about book formatting because all you need to do is submit the text and we will do the formatting for you. Whether it is eBooks or paperback, we do everything from copyright filing to book cover design and printing as well as publishing.

We welcome you to visit our website to check out the list of all our services and we would love to publish your dream for you.

Common Book Formatting FAQ

What are the two types of paperback books?

Well, there can be different types of paperback books but when we talk about the two most common types of paperback books then they are definitely going to be mass-market paperbacks.  These are what you commonly get in a bookstore.

And the other kind is going to be trade paperbacks. Mass-markets are bought by consumers for casual reading and tread paperbacks are usually for commercial purposes.

What size is a paperback book?

Paperbacks usually come in a few common sizes and they are often referred to as the classic sizes because of how universal they are.

However, these sizes might be different in your country or your specific book market but here they are.

  • 5×8.5 inches
  • 229x152mm (9×6 inches)
  • 279x216mm (11×8.5 inches)

What is the difference between hardcover and paperback format?

When people want us to tell the difference between paperbacks and hardcovers, we usually have a very simple definition.

A hardcover is a paperback with a cardboard cover and a sturdy spine and better-quality paper.  Hardcovers are exactly what the name suggests, a book with a hard cover which can be made of cardboard or any hard material.

What is a paperback example?

Every modern book in the world is going to have a paperback version because it is much cheaper to produce.

That is why you are more likely to see a paperback than a hardcover. They can be found everywhere from the instruction manual of your smartphone to your school textbooks.

However, if you want to find out the hardcovers then you need to bring out your old dictionary or go to a library and look at important classic books.